News, culture, and politics. Not necessarily in that order.

Ocelopotamus header image 2

Pet Food Recall Update — Natural Balance Info

April 17th, 2007 · 3 Comments · Business, Cats, Factory Farming, Food, Health, Journal, Kiwi, Mr. Blue, News, Pet Food

Mr. Blue and KiwiI’m getting a lot of Google traffic today from people who are searching for information about the recall of Natural Balance’s pet food, specifically the venison varieties.

So, if you’re one of those folks, here’s a link to the Natural Balance site and here’s what it currently says:

We are receiving consumer complaints regarding the Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food, and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Foods. We do not know what is wrong with the food at this time, but we have heard that animals are vomiting and experiencing kidney problems. Although the problems seem to be focused on one particular lot, as a precautionary measure, we are pulling all dates of Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Food from the shelves.

Please discontinue feeding all Venison and Brown Rice Dry Dog Food, and Venison and Green Pea Dry Cat Food.
We are working closely with the FDA.
We will update this website today, as more information comes available.

Here’s a blog I found with some additional info and discussion.

Just as a side note: I can’t figure out why on earth this company puts venison of all things in their pet food. What, are they sending out bow-hunters to slay deer and drag them back to the pet food factory? Or are they actually factory-farming deer somewhere? It just seems kind of weird.

As for my feline family, Kiwi and Mr. Blue have almost completed their transition over to the Newman’s Own organic cat food (which is based on organic and free-range chicken rather than, say, Bambi’s mother), and it’s been a big success — my cats really love the stuff.

For canned food, we tried the “Chicken & Brown Rice Formula” first, which both cats like just as well as any of the Science Diet varieties they were eating previously.

Then I brought home some of the Newman’s Own “Turkey and Vegetable Formula” and that’s pretty much their favorite thing ever. Four paws way up. In fact it’s the most canned food I’ve ever been able to get Mr. Blue to eat, notorious kibble fiend that he is. He’s nuts about it!

Their dry food mix, which I’ve been transitioning slowly, is up to about 2/3 Newman’s Own, and they’ve taken to it just fine — Mr. Blue gobbles it right up, and Kiwi digs it too.

Simon and Molly, the feline companions of Planet Earth Chicago DJs Dave & Kristine, are also reported to be happy converts to Newman’s Own.

Here in Chicago, all of the Whole Foods stores I know of either already carry Newman’s Own or are in the process of ordering it. I get mine at the Lakeview store on Ashland, and they’ve consistently had it in stock since I started the switch.

So … if you’re considering fleeing from the clutches of Iams (whose cruel animal experiments Morrissey has a word or two on the subject of), or Science Diet, or Natural Balance, or any of the other recalled brands, Ocelopotamus officially recommends Newman’s Own.

Previously on Ocelopotamus:

UPDATE: It turns out that the rice protein concentrate used in some Natural Balance foods has been confirmed to be contaminated with melamine. Natural Balance has expanded their recall to include the following foods: Venison and Brown Rice Treats for Dogs (New today), Venison and Brown Rice Canned Formula for Dogs (New today), Venison and Brown Rice Dry Food for Dogs (Reported Sunday), and Venison and Green Pea Dry Food for Cats (Reported Sunday). More info here, at a blog called Itchmo. Also, there’s a USA Today story here.


3 Comments so far ↓

  • Sonya

    I was feeding my kitty Natural Balance but thankfully switched her to Newman’s Own, so I will 3rd the recommendations for Newman’s Own, and add that the Whole Foods in Oak Park and Wild Oats in Evanston carry Newman’s Own.


    I’m at at my whits end over all this contaminated dog and cat food. What is really going on. It seems to me that before it’s all said and done it is not only in our dog and cat food but our food as well. I have shih tzu 3 years old that became very ill on the Nutro Ultra. I spent a lot of money to get him well. Hopefully, he stays that way. He was on Natural balance Lamb in the roll and the dry. But he was a little overweight and decided to place him on the weight management again sicne that is what he used to eat. That was on a Tuesday and when I gave him the Ultra he did not want to eat it so I placed some slivers of the lamb roll on the top and he ate it then. The next morning I woke up and he had vomited about 10 piles of yellow bile and white foamy froth. I have never seen that much come from a little dog in my life.. Anyway, he developed a kidney infection and like to have never got over it. He is due another recheck.. I feed him a Holistic diet from a Dr. that specializes in Holistic food. I have certainly done my home work on how these dog food companys make dog and cat food out of trash. No wonder our little guys have a short life span. If you really want the best for your little guy’s it is worth the research in finding out.. By the way my dog only eat approx. 2 tablespoons of the Nutro Ultra can to cause such a reaction. If he had eaten more or if I had not stopped it immediately after that I believe he may not have been here today.

  • Ocelopotamus

    Kathy, I’m so sorry to hear what happened to your dog, and I’m wishing you the best for his recovery. I think you’re right that there’s a very real danger that this stuff either has gotten or will get into human food. As for what’s really going on, I think it all comes down to the Wal-Martization of our culture: outsourcing everything to the cheapest possible supplier, regardless of what that does to quality, safety, environment, working conditions, and other concerns.